The World of Illusion KNITTING
Last week we wrote about a neat couple (Pat Ashcroft and Steve Plummer) who are mathematicians who teach and employ mathematics via knitting. This great educational adventure has led them on another, equally fertile, path: The wonderful world of Illusion knitting, wherein one can create a picture only visible from specific angles. When viewed head on, stripes are visible, but the picture lies in the angle of viewing. Thus, as in life, it's not what you see at first glance. Pat and Steve have devised a method of accomplishing this in a more approachable manner, they feel. Check out their site here to see why these designs are so special. It's where the craft of knitting takes flight as art. On the site, you will find basic information regarding "how to" plus a link to their designs that can be purchased. In the meantime, here are a few pictures
Squares that look round
In this example, you see squares, when you look from a distance, and variations, in the form of circles, when you look from an angle. Only 5 different yarns are employed, yet the impression is of 25 different shades. It feels like magic in some way. Note: This is not recommended for beginners of this technique so best to try with something like one of these:
Lettering or Quotes
Believe it or not, this is a technique that is do-able by all knitters - even those who consider themselves relatively new to the craft. It requires only the ability to knit and purl. It is a simple technique, composed of stripes in two colors, using knit and purl stitches to create special effects. It does rely on using a chart so a knitter needs to be willing to learn, and to be willing to count - but that applies to one side only. It's recommended to use good contrast in colors. The right side of every strip is knit in a specific color of your choice. All the action takes place on the second (wrong side) row of the stripe. That's when you need the chart. White stitches are purled, colored stitches are knit, using the color for the stripe used on front. This technique works nicely for letters or cross stitch projects. Because we all like eye candy (pictures), here are a few more examples of projects Steve and Pat have put on their site:
Called "Double Vision, Squared", this stunning blanket can also be used as a wall hanging. it's true textile art. When you look straight at the blanket, you can see 81 different shades, though just 9 different colors were used. When viewed from an angle, smaller squares are visible within larger ones. Any yarn weight can be used; this one used a dk weight. Due to the number of yarns used, it is recommended for a more experienced knitter.
Home Decorating Ideas
Illusion knitting projects make interesting home accessories. When looked down on from above, all the shells in this cushion look the same. However, when you look from an angle, you can see the variation in colors that distinguish them as different.
It's hard to find anyone who doesn't respond to the image of a butterly. Evocative of change and birth, they often adorn pictures and clothing, and are a natural motif when it comes to shawls. Imagine this in a spectacular color choice such as pink and dark violet.
This is a great way to use up stash yarn! Many knitters have a variety of complementary colors in their yarn collections. When used with black, the stained glass effect on this shawl is dramatic. From either direction, head on or at an angle, you walk away with a wonderful piece of wearable art which utilizes your favorite colors.
Find out more by visiting the Illusion Knitting site here or find Pat and Steve on Ravelry. You will find their Woolly Thoughts website here. In the meantime, here's a fitting "gift" from them. It's a free pattern so you can give it a try. This pattern is created with both chart and written instructions. Go on, you know it will be fun!